Excessively Excessive

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Excessively Excessive

The game industry has become obsessed with the idea of "more".

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The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Arbitrary quantification of complex creative ideas. And to think there's a whole website that you linked to that's devoted to the dreamcrushers. It's mindnumbingly stupid. Like TV Tropes level stupid.

Yahtzee, I was hoping for this debate to be over so we can start being immature again.

subtlefuge:
Arbitrary quantification of complex creative ideas. And to think there's a whole website that you linked to that's devoted to the dreamcrushers. It's mindnumbingly stupid. Like TV Tropes level stupid.

DOn't diss the Great, all Powerful God Tv Tropes!

That bechdel test is fucking stupid, and so is basically every test that measures the worth of any movie, game, song, or book.

I'm actually really interested in seeing where the gaming industry goes from here. They can't continue the road of excess they've followed since the first home console, because this generation has already become too bloated for its own good. So it's either sink or swim in a new direction.

...Just stop referring to the Bechdel Test as any kind of measurement. It just doesn't work

saintdane05:
Yahtzee, I was hoping for this debate to be over so we can start being immature again.

subtlefuge:
Arbitrary quantification of complex creative ideas. And to think there's a whole website that you linked to that's devoted to the dreamcrushers. It's mindnumbingly stupid. Like TV Tropes level stupid.

DOn't diss the Great, all Powerful God Tv Tropes!

What's it going to do, molest my avatar?

Is it just me or did Croshaw become a lot less funny and much more cynical? His views have been...well to put it kindly...sketchy at best. (Bechdel Test...really?)

The guy is even less popular here now in terms of views and comments, Jimqusition and MovieBob seem to be way over him here now.

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

No, because that's not the point of The Bechdel Test. It's not some kind of gold star that makes a work of fiction magically feminist or a banner example of equality. There are plenty of works that pass the test and still portray women poorly, and there are many that fail the test that have excellent portrayals of female characters.

The Bechdel Test is a simple rough measure of how well-developed female characters in fiction are, how relevant they are to the plot, and how important they are in the setting. Much like body-mass index (BMI) is a simple, effective way of checking rates of obesity across large populations, but can be inaccurate when applied to individuals. If everything a female character says or does exists only in relation to male characters, and this happens in, say, 90% of works of fiction, that's a problem. The fact that a single work fails the Bechdel Test isn't a problem. The fact that so many do is.

Jove:
Is it just me or did Croshaw become a lot less funny and much more cynical? His views have been...well to put it kindly...sketchy at best. (Bechdel Test...really?)

The guy is even less popular here now in terms of views and comments, Jimqusition and MovieBob seem to be way over him here now.

You've been keeping count on their views and comments?

Extra Punctuation's always been rather more down-to-earth and serious than Zero Punctuation. Sometimes it's funnier than other times, but it's usually more on point than trying to max out on jokes along the way. I don't see that as a problem.

Falseprophet:

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

No, because that's not the point of The Bechdel Test. It's not some kind of gold star that makes a work of fiction magically feminist or a banner example of equality. There are plenty of works that pass the test and still portray women poorly, and there are many that fail the test that have excellent portrayals of female characters.

The Bechdel Test is a simple rough measure of how well-developed female characters in fiction are, how relevant they are to the plot, and how important they are in the setting. Much like body-mass index (BMI) is a simple, effective way of checking rates of obesity across large populations, but can be inaccurate when applied to individuals. If everything a female character says or does exists only in relation to male characters, and this happens in, say, 90% of works of fiction, that's a problem. The fact that a single work fails the Bechdel Test isn't a problem. The fact that so many do is.

Do you read what you write? Your second half entirely contradicts your first and is STILL missing the point.

It's not effective. It's broken. It doesn't measure anything except how many characters are in a film and whether they do or do not talk about men. That's it. And because it's simply statistics with no purpose, it's a failure. It has no meaning or reason to it, because it disregards all the basics that go into character.

Falseprophet:

The Bechdel Test is a simple rough measure of how well-developed female characters in fiction are, how relevant they are to the plot, and how important they are in the setting. Much like body-mass index (BMI) is a simple, effective way of checking rates of obesity across large populations, but can be inaccurate when applied to individuals. If everything a female character says or does exists only in relation to male characters, and this happens in, say, 90% of works of fiction, that's a problem. The fact that a single work fails the Bechdel Test isn't a problem. The fact that so many do is.

But that's kinda like saying that measuring the size of a head is a rough measurement of brain capacity and or intelligence.

As you said, it's not the problem that a single work fails the Bechdel Test. But it's a problem that there are works that PASS the Bechdel Test that don't have well-developed female characters. The more than moderate margin of error in either direction makes the thing useless

Shjade:

Jove:
Is it just me or did Croshaw become a lot less funny and much more cynical? His views have been...well to put it kindly...sketchy at best. (Bechdel Test...really?)

The guy is even less popular here now in terms of views and comments, Jimqusition and MovieBob seem to be way over him here now.

You've been keeping count on their views and comments?

Extra Punctuation's always been rather more down-to-earth and serious than Zero Punctuation. Sometimes it's funnier than other times, but it's usually more on point than trying to max out on jokes along the way. I don't see that as a problem.

I'm talking about Zero Punctuation as well. And no not really, its actually quite noticeable when the average for his videos is about 100-200 comments and the other two guys get out twice as much. The number is quite astonishing really. Its not really keeping count if the other two guy's videos bring out more interesting topics and have better discussion then Croshaws...especially the last 6 months or so.

Shjade:
Extra Punctuation's always been rather more down-to-earth and serious than Zero Punctuation. Sometimes it's funnier than other times, but it's usually more on point than trying to max out on jokes along the way. I don't see that as a problem.

I've always thought the opposite; that while he fairly frequently has substantial things to say on a game (and maybe connecting the thought to the game industry at large) in ZP, in EP he's usually just hacking at a joke and when he does have a serious topic he tends to abandon it about two-thirds of the way through the article.

I don't have as much a problem with that scene in Tomb Raider as I do with Crystal Dynamics response to the controversy. "Rape is not in our vocabulary?"
One: Bullshit, we all know what that creep's intentions were.
Two: ARG! Mature subject matter! RUN!

And as for Tropes Vs Women Kickstarter, people need to grow the fuck-up. She's asking for money to make videos about sexist tropes in videogames? SHE MUST BE THE DEVIL! Seriously!?! It's your fucking choice if you don't want to give her money. You'd think she was part of some witches' coven selling cookies spiked with Chinese Lead to fund a secret campaign to chemically neuter the entire male population. SHE'S TELLING YOU EXACTLY WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR AND ACKNOWLEDGING SEXISM EXISTS NEVER HURT ANYBODY!

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

DVS BSTrD:

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

Reading comprehension, you don't have it.

Where did I say that not passing the test makes anything a bad movie? Where? I said, very clearly, that the test is broken because it takes nothing but numbers into count and would pass any female characters, even if they were nude prostitutes that spoke of what are their favorite turnips, as long as they didn't talk about men and had names.

Next time, take your time and actually read what is there. Thank you.

You miss a couple of important points. Firstly, stereotyped representations are common in video games (snarling, muscle-bound men with big swords are as familiar as ass-wiggling women), and secondly, one of the biggest problems with the depiction of women relates to the lack of women working in the industry (more women actually working on games would likely result in less stupid depictions of women.)

As an aside, the comment, "it's always difficult to rid ourselves of such basic, instinctual things, in the same way human beings will probably never shake off instinctual racism," is so mind-numbingly ignorant that it's almost beneath contempt.

subtlefuge:

saintdane05:
Yahtzee, I was hoping for this debate to be over so we can start being immature again.

subtlefuge:
Arbitrary quantification of complex creative ideas. And to think there's a whole website that you linked to that's devoted to the dreamcrushers. It's mindnumbingly stupid. Like TV Tropes level stupid.

DOn't diss the Great, all Powerful God Tv Tropes!

What's it going to do, molest my avatar?

SHHHH!!!

You must be careful of what you say, it might just happen... oh, wait... thats Rule 34. NVM.

I still think people over react to this issue.
Big tits, explosions, gunfire and one liners don't happen in my day to day life, i play games and watch movies to escape, to have fun.

Shamelessly promoting something via sex is questionable, but in the end do those products matter?
We'll remember Half-Life, Assassins Creed, Mario and Zelda, but not Dead or Alive: Extreme... At least not for being a worthwhile experience.

SpiderJerusalem:

Reading comprehension, you don't have it.

Where did I say that not passing the test makes anything a bad movie? Where? I said, very clearly, that the test is broken because it takes nothing but numbers into count and would pass any female characters, even if they were nude prostitutes that spoke of what are their favorite turnips, as long as they didn't talk about men and had names.

Next time, take your time and actually read what is there. Thank you.

I've gotta say, I've only recently heard of the Bechdel Test being used in this regard, and I can agree it's stupid.
The whole idea of the Bechdel test isn't to "rate" a movie, it was originally just an observation that women don't often get a lot of major roles in films.

And let's face it, that's doubly true for games. I can probably count the number of female protagonists in things I've played recently on one hand, and still have the fingers to factor in gender-optional characters.

It's not necessarily a comment on how feminist something is, but hey, the more female characters we have, the more chance there is to get them done right yeah?

SpiderJerusalem:

DVS BSTrD:

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

Reading comprehension, you don't have it.

Where did I say that not passing the test makes anything a bad movie? Where? I said, very clearly, that the test is broken because it takes nothing but numbers into count and would pass any female characters, even if they were nude prostitutes that spoke of what are their favorite turnips, as long as they didn't talk about men and had names.

Next time, take your time and actually read what is there. Thank you.

Real world, you aren't aware of it.

Because if you were, you'd know that REAL women talk about other things BESIDES men. But do they do that in movies? All the Benchel Test proves is whether or not women talk to each other in movies about about something other than men. That's it! If your film doesn't pass the Benchel, that means IT DOESN'T PASS THE BENCHEL TEST! YOU'RE the one reading too much into it, YOU'RE the one IMPLYING that in doesn't work because it's about "numbers". YOU'RE the one claiming that it's bad because it passes pointless conversations. Guess what? In THE REAL WORLD, women (and men) have pointless conversations. The Benchel Test doesn't say that it's good or bad to have those in movies, it's simply ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THEY ARE HAPPENING!

Next time, take your time and actually think about what something means before start making foolish assumptions. Thank you

Is it a troll when I mention that Pop Cap and Zynga are making butts of money making simple games with lots of polish? :D (Remember Plants vs Zombies, Peggle, Cityville, etc.?)

If only it was possible to judge things by more than one standard, or with more than one test. Or to pursue a closer examination of things that came back with a specific result.

[Weighing people is completely useless because it doesn't take into account how tall they are!] - Schrodinger's obesity.

Stupid or misguided(or manipulative) people using statistics poorly doesn't make statistics wrong.

SpiderJerusalem:

DVS BSTrD:

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

Reading comprehension, you don't have it.

Where did I say that not passing the test makes anything a bad movie? Where? I said, very clearly, that the test is broken because it takes nothing but numbers into count and would pass any female characters, even if they were nude prostitutes that spoke of what are their favorite turnips, as long as they didn't talk about men and had names.

Next time, take your time and actually read what is there. Thank you.

And yet, those nude named turnip-discussing prostitutes are still more developed and portrayed than most women in movies get. You're still the one sounding derp here because your acting as though the Bechel Test is designed to do more than it claims to do, and your insistence that it's "completely broken" is starting to sound like music and movie genres are completely useless classifications due to a FEW genre-blending songs/movies. Passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean you're movie is fair in its representation of women. But if your movie fails the test, unless there are some REALLY extenuating circumstances (No men either) or technicalities, it doesn't represent women as fairly as it does males. It's mostly an artifact from an earlier time when movies were TERRIBLE with female characters.

Also: I'd like to point out that games have been getting MORE modest in their portrayal of the female figure. I've not seen an even semi-popular game recently that features a completely bottomless warrior as a major character, and only one semi-popular hack-and-slash game featuring topless female enemies since Diablo II.

SpiderJerusalem:
Ugh, such a stupid system.

The Bechdel test is just meant to increase awareness of the problem. You have to consider who the intended audience of these "tests" is.

It's not your die-hard "anti-Feminists," because they (like any die-hard) don't listen to things. And it's not the folks who are already in your camp, because they're already in your camp. Instead, it's targeting the people who could be receptive.

Know what people listen to first, when getting new information? Simple numbers, and simple rules. It's how we filter things. If it can't be boiled down to simple numbers and simple rules, we generally assume it's meant for people who already know what's going on. That is, not for newbies.

The Bechdel test presents simple numbers and simple rules, which might cause folks to notice, "Wow, it is kind of weird that female characters are so consistently treated in a particular way." Is it simplistic? Overly-simplified, even? Of course it is.

It's also simplistic to tell little kids, "The sky is blue." Sometimes it's one of several other colors, or a combination. But we start with the one they'll see the most often, just to get the ball rolling -- then they can learn all the exceptions as they meet them, by which time they'll be more prepared.

This test is basically about "teaching" people that there's a problem. And there is. And plenty of people genuinely don't realize it, because they've never had the right kind of attention brought to it. So the test tells them, "The sky is blue," or "There is a problem with how female characters are most often portrayed."

The kind of audience that will watch The Diving Bell and appreciate the strong female characters? They're not the sort of people the Bechdel test is targeting. Complaining about how the test applies to things it wasn't intended to measure would be like saying your ruler is broken because it won't give you an accurate weight.

Just because he referred to a broken measuring system doesn't mean his underlying point is wrong guys.

While I agree with Yahtzee that the pursuit of excess is the problem ,I don't really see the situation improving either. After all the underlying problem behind this is that the executives don't get what makes a good game, and given that this problem is common to ALL creative industries ( or rather, executives not pushing for quality as they know that that is an unreliable way to make money) I don't see it being fixed any time soon.

WoahDan:
Just because he referred to a broken measuring system doesn't mean his underlying point is wrong guys.

While I agree with Yahtzee that the pursuit of excess is the problem ,I don't really see the situation improving either. After all the underlying problem behind this is that the executives don't get what makes a good game, and given that this problem is common to ALL creative industries ( or rather, executives not pushing for quality as they know that that is an unreliable way to make money) I don't see it being fixed any time soon.

The best chance would probably be if a couple of crowd-sourced games become crossover hits in close succession.

Dastardly:

SpiderJerusalem:
Ugh, such a stupid system.

The Bechdel test is just meant to increase awareness of the problem. You have to consider who the intended audience of these "tests" is.

It's not your die-hard "anti-Feminists," because they (like any die-hard) don't listen to things. And it's not the folks who are already in your camp, because they're already in your camp. Instead, it's targeting the people who could be receptive.

The Bechdel test presents simple numbers and simple rules, which might cause folks to notice, "Wow, it is kind of weird that female characters are so consistently treated in a particular way." Is it simplistic? Overly-simplified, even? Of course it is.

It's also simplistic to tell little kids, "The sky is blue." Sometimes it's one of several other colors, or a combination. But we start with the one they'll see the most often, just to get the ball rolling -- then they can learn all the exceptions as they meet them, by which time they'll be more prepared.

This test is basically about "teaching" people that there's a problem. And there is. And plenty of people genuinely don't realize it, because they've never had the right kind of attention brought to it. So the test tells them, "The sky is blue," or "There is a problem with how female characters are most often portrayed."

But that is the problem! Bringing awareness to something by oversimplifying everything to the point that becomes a part of the problem itself! It is not a working system to raise awareness by grossly gliding over a multitude of nuances so important to the cause. It's a poor use of "the end justifies the means" because once anyone actually takes a look at the "scores", they'll realize just how broken they are.

If they really wanted to raise awareness, it could be done with simple questionnaires that cause people to think. "Who was a strong female character in the last movie you saw?" "Why?". It's a poor example, yet still better than just giving films a cursory glance and saying "these are a part of the problem" because they do not fit into the narrow guidelines set forth.

Because by these tests, you'd have to start discounting films like Little Women and Gone With the Wind. Or why stop there? You could discount people who have actually been praised and awarded by women's rights societies, like Joss Whedon.

Good intentions, for sure. But poorly handled and overall detrimental to any cause they might be striving for.

DVS BSTrD:
I don't have as much a problem with that scene in Tomb Raider as I do with Crystal Dynamics response to the controversy. "Rape is not in our vocabulary?"
One: Bullshit, we all know what that creep's intentions were.
Two: ARG! Mature subject matter! RUN!

And as for Tropes Vs Women Kickstarter, people need to grow the fuck-up. She's asking for money to make videos about sexist tropes in videogames? SHE MUST BE THE DEVIL! Seriously!?! It's your fucking choice if you don't want to give her money. You'd think she was part of some witches' coven selling cookies spiked with Chinese Lead to fund a secret campaign to chemically neuter the entire male population. SHE'S TELLING YOU EXACTLY WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR AND ACKNOWLEDGING SEXISM EXISTS NEVER HURT ANYBODY!

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Actually she's pretending that sexism exists in areas that it doesn't really. Sexism is like racism, it will go away if we stop talking about it. I mean one of the best selling games out there was Skyrim. Armor looks the same on either sex, very little mention of sex in the game... yada yada. So had we grown up? Yes, until someone brought us back down again by saying... Lego is sexist. Frikkin Lego. Seriously.
Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

DVS BSTrD:
I don't have as much a problem with that scene in Tomb Raider as I do with Crystal Dynamics response to the controversy. "Rape is not in our vocabulary?"
One: Bullshit, we all know what that creep's intentions were.
Two: ARG! Mature subject matter! RUN!

And as for Tropes Vs Women Kickstarter, people need to grow the fuck-up. She's asking for money to make videos about sexist tropes in videogames? SHE MUST BE THE DEVIL! Seriously!?! It's your fucking choice if you don't want to give her money. You'd think she was part of some witches' coven selling cookies spiked with Chinese Lead to fund a secret campaign to chemically neuter the entire male population. SHE'S TELLING YOU EXACTLY WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR AND ACKNOWLEDGING SEXISM EXISTS NEVER HURT ANYBODY!

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

DVS BSTrD:
I don't have as much a problem with that scene in Tomb Raider as I do with Crystal Dynamics response to the controversy. "Rape is not in our vocabulary?"
One: Bullshit, we all know what that creep's intentions were.
Two: ARG! Mature subject matter! RUN!

And as for Tropes Vs Women Kickstarter, people need to grow the fuck-up. She's asking for money to make videos about sexist tropes in videogames? SHE MUST BE THE DEVIL! Seriously!?! It's your fucking choice if you don't want to give her money. You'd think she was part of some witches' coven selling cookies spiked with Chinese Lead to fund a secret campaign to chemically neuter the entire male population. SHE'S TELLING YOU EXACTLY WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR AND ACKNOWLEDGING SEXISM EXISTS NEVER HURT ANYBODY!

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

It essentially is counter-productive to the entire cause. Instead of looking at the female characters in movies as what they are (are they strong, determined, important, etc), and reduces them to, well, numbers. Like cattle.

Are there two of them, do they converse about something other than a man? Huh? That's it? What if there are two women who have a talk about a lovely pair of shoes. Wow, that sure is better than having a talk about a man.

By their logic, off the of my head, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a movie populated with incredibly strong female characters and performances, fails to pass this test because all the female characters who interact with each other discuss the main comatose character, who is a man in one way or the other.

Ugh, such a stupid system.

Not passing the Bechel Test doesn't mean it's a bad movie, it means it's male centric. That's like calling the Witcher 2 a bad game because it's misogynistic of Geralt to have casual sex with multiple women. In real life I'm pretty sure women talk about shoes, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that (unless that's ALL they talk about).

That's all very well Yahtzee, but how do we change this pattern of behavior?

SpiderJerusalem:
But that is the problem! Bringing awareness to something by oversimplifying everything to the point that becomes a part of the problem itself!

That has yet to be demonstrated by anything you've said, though. It isn't "part of the problem itself" unless someone is using it in an unintended way. If I use aspirin correctly, it cures my headache. If I use it incorrectly, it kills me. That doesn't mean aspirin has "become part of the problem." It just means I'm using it wrong.

What you've got here is, probably unintentionally, reductio ad absurdum -- you're putting the subject in a situation far beyond its intended scope, and point out its failure in that context as some kind of overall failure.

It is not a working system to raise awareness by grossly gliding over a multitude of nuances so important to the cause. It's a poor use of "the end justifies the means" because once anyone actually takes a look at the "scores", they'll realize just how broken they are.

When you're introducing something, you must glide over nuances. People learn the basics first. "T makes the sound 'tuh.'" That's what we tell little kids at first. Later on, they learn exceptions like "the" or "nation," in which T makes a different sound. But when we're teaching them, we don't say, "T sometimes makes the sound 'tuh,' but other times it sounds like 'sh' or 'thhh' or it can even be silent as in 'escargot,' but that's French..." And the kids are confused, crying, and/or asleep.

One might argue that the test is a bit pedantic. That has more validity than saying the test is part of the problem. But I'd counter that there are plenty of people saying, "Well what's the problem? I see women in movies all the time, so where's the big issue?" They really do need someone to point out the inequity, because they don't automatically know how to frame and recognize it.

If they really wanted to raise awareness, it could be done with simple questionnaires that cause people to think. "Who was a strong female character in the last movie you saw?" "Why?". It's a poor example, yet still better than just giving films a cursory glance and saying "these are a part of the problem" because they do not fit into the narrow guidelines set forth.

1. This test isn't about strong female characters. It's about demonstrating how common it is for the woman/women in movies to exist almost entirely in service to the male characters -- they're eye candy, or a romantic interest, or they exist to complain to other women about men. It's not about pointing out strong female characters, but rather showing the rather overwhelming number of weak ones.

2. This test isn't about identifying good or bad movies, or identifying "movies that are problems." It's about identifying the problem as it often appears in many movies. No test is perfect, and there will always be exceptions.

Because by these tests, you'd have to start discounting films like Little Women and Gone With the Wind. Or why stop there? You could discount people who have actually been praised and awarded by women's rights societies, like Joss Whedon.

Little Women, they talk about many other things than men. That movie most certainly "passes" the test. Gone with the Wind? Scarlet was a pretty weakly-written character in a lot of ways, so I'm not against that one. Doesn't mean it's a bad movie, of course.

You're chasing around exceptions and abusing them to discount the test. There's this bizarre idea that because something isn't entirely perfect, it's entirely useless. Tests like this aren't meant to be comprehensive, and in fact, any test that was comprehensive would be decried as too ridiculously convoluted and time-consuming to be of any use. It's a trap.

This test succeeds in two major ways:

1. It doesn't point out every instance, but it points out many instances of movies that don't contain much in the way of consequential female characters. It identifies a long-running and long-ignored problem.

2. You are not only talking about this test and the problems it is targeting, you are also going back and looking over movies through this new lens. Sure, you're doing it to find ways to prove the test wrong, but the fact is you're still doing it. The test has changed the way you view movies. Permanently? No clue. But for now, I'd say it's done it's job -- even for you.

SpiderJerusalem:
The Bechdel test is such a broken system that I can't even begin to understand why people insist on bringing it up.

The underlying point of the Bechdel Test is that, in many media, female characters are defined primarily by their relationships to men. If a work of fiction fails the Bechdel Test, it's because, whatever other characteristics have been assigned to the women in that story, the men are more important. It's not about performance, it's not about strength, it's about whether or not female characters can stand on their own and have conversations that aren't about the men in their lives. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that male characters rarely have that problem.

Mass Effect 3 passes the Bechdel Test. Assassin's Creed does not. This isn't to say that one is better than the other, just that the former represents women more fairly than the latter. That is all.

Dastardly:

If they really wanted to raise awareness, it could be done with simple questionnaires that cause people to think. "Who was a strong female character in the last movie you saw?" "Why?". It's a poor example, yet still better than just giving films a cursory glance and saying "these are a part of the problem" because they do not fit into the narrow guidelines set forth.

1. This test isn't about strong female characters. It's about demonstrating how common it is for the woman/women in movies to exist almost entirely in service to the male characters -- they're eye candy, or a romantic interest, or they exist to complain to other women about men. It's not about pointing out strong female characters, but rather showing the rather overwhelming number of weak ones.

And how are you still not seeing the problem with the test being simplified then?

How can you sit there and claim that it's OK for it to be simplified (as if the people reading about the test and looking at the results were kids. Guess what, it works both ways. Just like the people who'd be watching The Diving Bell..., the people looking up this test aren't - at least for the most part - kids and should know damn well the differences between x and y), when the results are maligned completely.

How do you weed out the female characters that are there for the service of the male characters when your entire test is based on something as flimsy as these parameters? It reduces EVERYTHING to a standardized level, thus making everything weak if it doesn't fit the narrow margin. It puts a character that might spend the entire movie nude, being objectified and put down on the same level as a strong female hero simply because words are not exchanged for some arbitrary reason.

2. This test isn't about identifying good or bad movies, or identifying "movies that are problems." It's about identifying the problem as it often appears in many movies. No test is perfect, and there will always be exceptions.

Nobody ever said it was. Stop pulling that into this.

You're chasing around exceptions and abusing them to discount the test. There's this bizarre idea that because something isn't entirely perfect, it's entirely useless.

You mean like this test does.

The test has changed the way you view movies. Permanently? No clue. But for now, I'd say it's done it's job -- even for you.

No, this test has done nothing of the sort. I've viewed movies for a damn long while with an eye for good characters, regardless of gender. The test is what it is, a broken, overtly simplified attack point for people who refuse to discuss a matter at length, but would rather reduce it to simple bullet points and say "there, look, it's a problem", without realizing that their contribution is only harming themselves.

This article throws into sharp relief yahtzee's schizophrenic nature. Last week barrel scraping disdain and tonal dissidence, and irrationality. This week, an article that's actually about something. and something important approached with logic and critical thought. I applaud the article and hope that the excesses he points out are addressed appropriately soon.

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